Blue Hill is 30-45 minutes from Acadia National Park, so a visit to the park makes a nice day trip. Cars are allowed throughout the park, and it is also nice to get out of the car and walk along the 45 miles of carriage roads financed by John D Rockefeller Jr. between 1913 and 1940.The roads are relatively flat, wide and have good surfaces, making...more
Here's the lay of the land: Blue Hill Peninsula is a true peninsula. Just south is Deer Isle, which is a true island. Deer Isle is connected to the Peninsula by a car bridge, so all of Deer Isle is now easily accessible. Which is a good thing, because some of the best kayaking is just south of Deer Isle in the Stonington Archipelago.We booked a...more
In Maine, they call Blue Hill a mountain. In California, we would call it a speed bump. OK, so it's not Mount Whitney. It nonetheless has a very nice hiking trail up to the top going through a very lush forest on one side and a meadow full of wildflowers on the other.This photo was taken from the top of Blue Hill. You'll note that the so-called...more
An old-fashioned roadside lunch stand with picnic tables has the perfect Maine waterside setting. Enjoy the best crabmeat rolls on the planet while basking in the lovely view of the reversing falls. Ice cream too. Open daily May to mid-September. The locals have loved this place for years. Birdwatching too. Crabmeat rolls with the freshest seafood...more
I told my kids that in order to really experience the REAL Maine, we had to get lunch at a lobster shack where we would pick out our own lobster, which would be promptly plunked into a vat of boiling water. We visited Beal's over on the next peninsula near Acadia National Park. Beal's was a nice place for lobster because it is right on the water...more
Westcott Forge serves delicious local cuisine - steaks, seafood, and vegetarian dishes. The decor is fun - the restaurant is located in an old building that used to house a company that produced forged products (as in ironworks, not checks). Some of the original products adorn the restaurant, such as the wrought iron handrailing on the stair case....more
Arborvine is one of the best restaurants in Blue Hill. The decor is early 1800's in a Cape Code style building. You'll dine in one of several candlelit rooms. The menu includes meat, fowl, fish and vegetarian dishes with creative sauces and skillful preparation. The desserts were scrumptious. I highly recommend this restaurant.Our B&B, Blue Hill...more
If you are taking a day trip to Acadia National Park, a popular lunch and afternoon tea spot is the Jordan Pond House near the carriage trails in the Park. The afternoon tea is a tradition going back to the 1800's. Weather permitting, lunch or tea is on the lawn with a gorgeous view of the "pond" (really a lake, but let's not get into...more
Before I went to Blue Hill, I was told by another VTer that I just had to go to the Fish Net and get a lobster roll. She was right - the lobster rolls are excellent! Fish Net is your typical good quality fish shack, serving everything from chowder to lobster and crab rolls, fish and chips and blueberry pie and shakes. You can even get twin lobster...more
If you are traveling in the vacinity of Blue Hill, Maine - not far from Acadia National Park - don't miss the chance to attend a street Dance by FLASH! in the Pans Community Steelband. Dan es are held every Monday night from Memorial Day to Labor Day and each event supports a local charity. FLASH! consists of over 30 volunteer musicians. You will hear an amazing variety of musical styles, from soca rhythms and calypso directly from Trinidad, along with popular and swing tunes. Small children move to the beat and get the grown-ups going. After dark, the teenagers and college students take over. Incredible energy exchange between the audience and the band! Great Fun!
Dress Code: Anything goes!
The town center of Blue Hill is small, but it has some great shops. You'll find antiques, local crafts, art galleries, chocolates, books, and clothing. You can easily spend a good part of a day browsing through the shops. There is even a good country store in the town center with a great deli, good wine selection and all the basics. Of course, if...more
Blue Hill must be a very well-read town, because I counted three separate book stores in its tiny town center. Blue Hill Books was recommended by the owner of our B&B, so we stopped by to pick up some reading materials for our life of leisure. Blue Hill carries a wide variety of books, including best-sellers, books by local authors and classics....more
Casual attire is very acceptable all over the Blue Hill Peninsula, even at dinner. I was asking one of the staff people at our B&B what the dress was at the Arborvine Restaurant and she said, "Oh, everyone is pretty casual there. Of course, some people look like they just got off the boat."I'm thinking grungy, right? Like no clean laundry for a...more
Lobstering is one of Maine's biggest industries. Although you can get lobster in other New England states, Maine's lobsters are known to be the best and most plentiful. I learned from my kayak guide that Mainers hold people in Massachusetts in low regard because those Massachusetts types try to come up to Maine over the weekend and go lobstering. I...more
The Maine drivers were the most polite drivers of all we saw on our east coast vacation. In Maine, as a pedestrian, all you have to do is put your toe in a crosswalk and the drivers from either direction come to a screeching halt. Contrast that with Bostonians who pretend they don't see you, and Philadelphians who see you but don't care.more
Unless you are very familiar with the waters around Deer Isle (just south of Blue Hill Peninsula), a guide is a must if you want to experience sea kayaking. To get to many of the islands in the Archipelago, you have to cross several shipping channels. This is where the guide was of the greatest benefit - some of those boats that come barrelling through the channels are fairly large. I'm not sure I would have spotted all the shipping channels without a guide. Some of the channel markers were very far apart.
We took a tandem kayak out. The key to successful kayaking in a tandem is synchronization of the paddling. Keep those paddles together! Here I am, demonstrating techique with my son. But do as I say, not as I do!
Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle both have a high concentration of local artists. Driving along the country roads, one sees sign after sign with directions to a gallery. Most galleries are in artists' homes tucked inside the forest and the end of a long driveway.
I wanted so much to spend a day visiting the galleries, but I had to think of the children. To my kids, visiting galleries is one of the worst forms of torture known to mankind, second only to visiting wineries. Despite the fact that I have probably stunted their emotional and cultural development, I opted not to torture them, and we nixed any visits to galleries.
However, when I return - and I will someday (sans teenagers) - I will spend a day or two visiting many of the galleries. This is a good link to the Deer Isle artists:
Deer Isle Artists
In July, you'll see Black-Eyed Susans blooming in profusion all over Maine -- in the hills and along the roadsides. Rather like our poppies in California. This flower is a member of the sunflower family and indigenous only in states east of the Rockies. It is not the state flower of Maine, but it IS the state flower of Maryland. Not ME but MD.more
Across the street from the American Legion Building in Blue Hill, Maine, is a sobering and touching memorial. A little white flag has been placed in this grassy area for every US soldier who has died in the war. The area was filled with flags. The sign shows the number of US soldiers and Iraqi civilians who have died in the war to date....more